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Bars escape Spanish workplace smoking ban

16 December 2005

Lawmakers in Spain have voted in favour of banning smoking in the workplace.

The new law will come in from 1 January next year and prohibits smoking in office buildings, shopping centres and on public transport.

However, small bars and pubs will have a choice between going non-smoking or not as long as they clearly display their premises' status.

Larger bars and restaurants, with more than 100sq m, will have eight months to introduce non-smoking areas into their premises. Children will be barred from smoking areas.

It is claimed a third of Spaniards smoke and the government there says 50,000 citizens die each year from smoke-related diseases.

In the UK, the influential Health Select Committee is expected to release its highly critical report on the Government's half-way house smoking ban proposals for England, this Monday.

The committee is expected to dismiss the current plans as unworkable and call for a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places in England.

by Chris Druce

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